Time and again I meet many clients and talk about starting SIP with them. The salary of regular clients ranges from Rs. 20000 – Rs. 95000 a month. After concluding, more than 90% have to say that they need to think and calculate if they can afford Rs. 1000 a month. Most of the times clients do not spare Rs. 1000 a month for SIP even after knowing that the amount is not significant compared to monthly income. They are the dreamers who wish to start SIP but cannot.

I usually handle my sales call on phone or online so our house helper usually keeps listening that I talk about investment. She does not know any investment option except bank FD and LIC. One day she inquired what I was actually doing and how can she invest? She wanted liquid investment with combination of risk and return. I suggested her for SIP. Looking at her 4 digit income I suggested her to start with Rs. 100 or Rs. 500 a month. She said I would like to start with Rs. 1000/month. She had paid Rs. 1000/month to a bank agent for 5 years, the bank did not exist in reality. Having lost hard earned Rs. 60,000 she is again ready to invest in an asset she does not understand. This is not because her income is high, it is because of her determination. Such people are Doers.

Her act was an eyeopener to all those having 5 to 6 digit salary but are unable to save and invest. Stop being dreamers, start becoming doers.

What is ESG Investing?

ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) investing refers to a class of investing that is also known as “sustainable investing.” This is an umbrella term for investments that seek positive returns and long-term impact on society, environment and the performance of the business. There are several different categories of sustainable investing. They include impact investing, socially responsible investing (SRI), ESG and values-based investing. Another school of thought puts ESG under the umbrella term of SRI. Under SRI are ethical investing, ESG investing and impact investing.

The Financial Times Lexicon defines ESG  as “a generic term used in capital markets and used by investors to evaluate corporate behavior and to determine the future financial performance of companies.” It is used by investors to evaluate corporations and determine the future financial performance of companies. It adds that ESG “are a subset of non-financial performance indicators which include sustainable, ethical and corporate governance issues such as managing a company’s carbon footprint and ensuring there are systems in place to ensure accountability.” They are factors in investment considerations, used in risk assessment strategies incorporated into both investment decisions and risk management processes.

What is the Appeal of ESG Investing?

Many investors are not only interested in the financial outcomes of investments. They are also interested in the impact of their investments and the role their assets can have in promoting global issues such as climate action.  One demographic that is particularly attracted to ESG investing is millennials. According to a 2006 study called Cone Millennial Cause Study, millennials are more likely to trust a company or purchase a company’s products when the company has a reputation of being socially or environmentally responsible. Half of those surveyed are more likely to turn down a product or service from a company perceived to be socially or environmentally irresponsible.

The Rs 30 trillion Indian mutual funds (MF) industry may have seen five ESG-themed MF schemes rolled out so far in 2020. But a wave of ESG investing has been sweeping global markets for some time now.

Data from research firm Morningstar Investment Adviser showed that in October, global assets under management (AUM) with ESG portfolios hit a high of US$1.2 trillion – a quantum increase from $530 million five years ago. Bloomberg reports state that there were 17 ESG exchange traded funds rolled out so far in 2020, compared with 10 in all of 2019. This launches make October the best-ever month for inflows since 2013.

In India however, ESG funds are still in a nascent stage. But investor interest is increasing. There is awareness about ESG in every aspect of conducting business. Society wants to see businesses being more responsible in these areas and it is already visible in lending practices and investor participation globally.

India has a long road ahead in sustainable investing, given the host of mid and small-sized companies that may find it challenging to comply with such norms. But, experts say that the Indian MF industry is moving in the right direction. As more schemes raise money, investor awareness would improve. Companies that have low ESG scores could lose prominence or importance in the investment horizon, even if they generate higher profits. Such companies stand the risk of losing capital flows, especially from FIIs.

So in all ESG is the future of investment. If one is looking at responsible investing than one must apply for the Aditya Birla Sun Life ESG Fund NFO. Call us to apply. NFO closes 18th December 2020.

The ESG theme must be included in the core portfolio. Returns through the ESG themes are expected to be higher than non-ESG funds with same risk profile.

When a common man talks of financial goals he uses all the terms together. Like, Children Education, buying a home, vacation, car, retirement. Though they all seem important there is a difference we we do not realize instantly. If you want to buy a car, finance companies will line up with offers. If you want to buy a home, housing finance companies will be willing to give you a best quote. If you want to finance your child's education, banks will be willing to give educational loan. Have you ever heard financing for retirement? It is something everyone avoids as none of the financing company wants you to talk about. If you start caring for retirement, you leave less for EMI. The most important financial goal cannot be financed and it is the goal which most of the people do not want to talk about.

In reality, retirement planning starts the day we receive our first income be it profit or salary or commission.

Let us understand this with an example.

Assuming Mr. Early starts earning at the age of 23 years and starts retirement planning at 23 with an expected retirement age of 60, he has 37 years to invest. He starts SIP of Rs. 2000 a month with expected returns of 12% per annum. At the age of 60 years Mr. Early will have Rs. 1,38,79,700 for his retirement corpus.

Assuming Mr. Late starts earning at the age of 23 years and starts retirement planning at 40 years of age with an expected retirement age of 60, he has 20 years to invest. He will have to start SIP of Rs. 15,080 a month with expected returns of 12% per annum to have retirement corpus of Rs. 1,38,71,450.

It is always better to start slow when one has low family and medical expense rather than waiting for full family responsibilities and medical expenses to start in 40's. It is always difficult to save later if one cannot do it now.

Remember, Slow and steady wins the race

An eye opener for parents with no financial planning for their child's future

Recently I had tried to find out investment habits of parents having children in the age range of new born to 10 years. I had indirectly surveyed 50 parents to know their investing habits for their child’s future. I was shocked to find that 95% of the parents had no financial planning for their children. Even more shocking  was when parents told that they had to plan for investing Rs. 100/month for their children. Dear parents, we spend Rs. 300/month/mobile as mobile bills, we spend average 500 Rs. behind our child’s chocolates/ice-cream/cakes (which ultimately leads to medical bills and obesity), we spend Rs. 1000/month for our fitness, we spend 2000/month eating out in the hotel, we spend drinking tea, snacks, fun, kitties and what not. Do these spending have a planning? Do they need a discussion with spouse? To all who had such an excuse, I am sorry but this generation of parents is not serious about their child’s future. I pity such children whose parents have all the money in the world to spend on themselves but need planning and discussion to invest Rs. 100 for their child. Loading our children with gadgets & gifts is not enough. The future is competitive, we have to save for them.

Dear parents, our responsibility does not end bringing our children into this world, It starts from there......

The year 2020 will forever be associated with the pandemic that affected the world. Without a vaccine in sight, COVID-19 continues to loom around the world, affecting millions of people at an alarming rate. Currently, India has ramped up its testing centers, but continues to struggle with increasing cases. The outbreak of a disease such as COVID-19 has highlighted the need for health insurance and created more awareness about it being a necessity for future situations. Until this point, health insurance has never been considered a must-have for families.

It is important to keep yourself sheltered from illnesses and also financial shocks. The repercussions of not having a health policy are very high in such a crucial time. If you are uninsured, the options to go after in case you find a family member sick during this time are bleak. This makes it imperative to explore health insurance options now, so that you focus on your health and not the costs if someone were to fall sick. Regardless of whether you’re insured, figure out your health insurance options to access affordable healthcare.

Factors to consider while selecting a health cover

Buying a health insurance plan, irrespective of age, is a smart move to make. An investment in health insurance in the early years of life is rather beneficial and serves its purpose at a later stage. However, while finding a cover, it is important to acknowledge some of the following points before opting for a policy.

-Look for coverage options: Make sure that you’ve a clear understanding of what is and isn’t included in the cover. Explore Mediclaim/Family floaters, COVID-19 focused policies, comprehensive health insurance policies, critical illness plans among others

-Enlisted hospitals: It is always better to know the network of hospitals your cover will provide access to and check if you will be reimbursed in case you seek treatment in an institution outside the enlisted network

-Compare plans: Comparing the health plans available in the market is very important to decide if such policies fit your requirement

-Faster Claim Settlements: Claim settlement is the ‘Moment of Truth’ for any insurer and hence the insurer’s claims settlement ratio must be checked. This, along with the average time taken to settle the claims, will assure you on the potential of the company to settle claims swiftly and easily

-Co-pay, sub-limits, room rent restrictions: You must ensure that the policy clearly states these limits, if any, and ideally opt for a policy with no capping on room rent and no sub-limits on diseases/procedures

Selecting the right insurance policy:

Once you have a clearer idea about what you’re looking for in a policy cover, make sure that you understand the various policies available and whether the cover you choose meets your specified individual or family needs.

-Comprehensive Health insurance Policy: If you can afford, you should consider more comprehensive health plans that cover COVID-19 or any viral infection, 30 days from the inception of the policy. Comprehensive health plans will cover you for hospitalization expenses resulting from acute or chronic illness and even accidental injury

-Individual Health plan: It must be bought in the name of each individual – spouse, children, parents etc. This means, the premium will be as per each individual's age as well as their respective sum insured and doesn’t affect other family members if one individual were to make a claim

-Family Floater Health plan: Essentially, more than one member can be covered under one policy with a sum insured that will cover all members in the family

-COVID-19 specific policy: All health insurers are offering the IRDAI- mandated standard indemnity health policy Corona Kavach. However, those looking for a short-term policy may consider Corona Kavach. The price point for this policy is lower than a comprehensive health policy and can be bought to protect only against COVID-19 for affordability reasons

-Critical Illness Plan: Critical illnesses are always associated with an increased cost of treatment along with a long and expensive recovery process. Therefore, these policies are designed to meet long-term financial support, as they pay the insurer a lump-sum benefit on the diagnosis of the listed Critical illnesses under the policy

-Top-up plans: Top-up or Super Top-up health plans are indemnity plans with higher sum insured, in case the hospitalisation expenses cross a specific threshold limit called the ‘deductible,’ which is opted for by the customer while purchasing the policy. Typically, one should opt for a super top-up health plan to enhance the existing coverage. Top-up policies are reasonably priced, making them affordable and useful in the event of a high-value claim

The Corona Kavach policy should not be taken as a substitute for a normal comprehensive health cover.

A healthcare system is pretty challenging to navigate in the best of times. The task is a bit more tedious during a pandemic. It’s wise to invest in one of the policies to ensure that your savings don’t take a major hit in case of an unforeseen health emergency.


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